PURI, India – Fishing hubs in India’s Odisha state were abuzz with activities on Thursday despite a government ban that prohibits fishermen from venturing into deep waters to protect the endangered Olive Ridley turtles.
Hundreds of fishermen, whose family mostly rely on fish for their food and livelihood, thronged the beaches in Odisha for the seasonal activity that peaks between October and February.
Fisherwomen were seen drying fish on nets and then packaging them into bags to sell in a market near the Chandrabhaga beach, some 70 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha.
Temporary makeshift shelters were set up close to the Chandrabhaga beach for the drying and packaging of the catch, he added.
But the seven-month ban on deep water fishing along the 20-km stretch of Dhamra-Rushikulya river mouth within Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary from Nov. 1 has irked fishermen, who say the prohibition has affected the livelihood of thousands of families, according to local media reports.
The ban, which will be in place until May 30, 2019, has been imposed to check on fishing activities and ensure strict enforcement of the conservation rules.
Fishing and drying of fish are the two main sources of income for people living in coastal areas of India and the government vowed to provide livelihood support of Rs 5,000 (nearly $70) to Rs 7,500 to each fishermen family affected by the ban.